6:20 AM on a Sunday is way too early for Wreckx-N-Effect’s “Rumpshaker”.
But apparently that’s how they roll here at Peet’s Coffee in San Leandro. My dad is still asleep back at our hotel. We got a place near the Oakland Coliseum and after seeing that stadium, it’s no wonder that the Raiders left and the A’s haven’t been successful in years.
At 700 AM I got a text message from my mom.
“Did you know that yesterday was the 80th birthday of the Golden Gate Bridge? Drive safe. Love U 2.”
- Who taught my mom how to text?
- That would explain why there was no bridge toll and why there were so many people around it.
Today we’re driving back to LA, and there’s never much of an adventure with the familiar (i.e. the Central California corridor of the 5 freeway). In 6 hours we’ll be back home.
If you couldn’t already tell, one of my five values is “adventure”. Nothing inspires me to write or photograph more like the exploration that comes with travel. Well, food and woman also, but travel is the adventure that we’re talking about right now. Stay on target.
One of my pet peeves is when people tell me that I’m “lucky” to travel. I am lucky in the sense that I grew up in America and that we’re the land of hope, possibility, and super sweet passport abilities, but there is no “luck” to how I travel.
I’ll tell you the secret to how I can afford it, but beware, you’re going to hate it. Ready? I save for it.
Every paycheck there’s a set amount that goes to a special bank account that I call “Adventure Cash”. (I chose Ally because the interest rate is 1%). There is no “luck” to that. What there is though, is a prioritization of my values.
Many people say they can’t afford travel, but if you have an apartment and a car, then you can afford travel. Travel just isn’t your priority. Most people prioritize other things in life like cable TV, shots of Jäger, Le Creuset cookware, 20” rims for their car, or living in a large house because you “need” the space.
All of those things probably don't long-term enrich your life, but if they're your priority, then great, but if you’re doing it for other people or to "keep up with Joneses", then you’re lying to yourself.
Another thing people say is, “I’ll travel when I have the money” as if one day they’ll just find a spare thousand dollars sitting around. Has that ever happened? If you want it, you have to make it happen. You save for it, by prioritizing it.
Here’s the brutal truth though, when people say things like “you’re lucky to travel” or “I don’t have time to date/go to the gym”, what they’re really doing is psychologically protecting themselves. One can’t control “time” or “luck”, so by saying things like that, it removes them from the responsibility of taking control of their own life.
Everyone has the same amount of time in the day and everyone can align their day with their priorities, may it be spinning at Soul Cycle, going to the park with family, pursuing a career, reading books, or cooking hand-made pasta. But don't say "I don't have time" and then waste it on pernicious time-suckers like Instagram, reality TV, or commuting long distance to a job because you “need” a bigger place.
If you want to find out what you really “need”, go camping or backpacking for months at a time. Then you find your true needs: Where am I going to sleep? What am I going to eat? Who am I going to hang out with? That’s it. That’s all you “need”.
And all you need, you already have.
A big part of my thirties has been simplifying my life so that everything aligns with my values.
Long gone are the days when I would go to nightclubs or covet fancy cars because I thought that’s what cool people do. Now on a Friday night you can probably find me cooking a meal and then watching Master of None while drinking an orange La Croix.
Do what brings you joy.
If you want to be happy, figure out what your values are, and then aligning your life with them as much as possible.
And if you truly want to travel, then the only thing stopping you is you.
Start with California. After visiting 41 other states, the Golden State is still my favorite.